Two major Palestinian groups, the Hamas resistance movement and Fatah political party, pledged unity against Israel’s annexation of the West Bank, as signs are emerging of a purported rift between Israel and the United States over the much-condemned project.
The pledge of unity against the Israeli annexation plan was made during a joint video conference held in Ramallah, the de facto administrative capital of the Palestinian Authority (PA), in the occupied West Bank on Thursday, Press TV reported.
“We are 100 percent consistent with Hamas to confront the challenges our cause is facing,” said Jibril Rajoub, the secretary-general of Fatah, at the presser, stressing, “We will put in place all necessary measures to ensure national unity” in efforts against annexation.
“Today, we want to speak in a single voice,” Rajoub emphasized, saying that the joint press conference with Hamas was aimed at coordinating Palestinian efforts to confront the annexation scheme.
“The decision has been approved by our President (Mahmoud Abbas),” he added.
Saleh al-Arouri, the deputy leader of Hamas, for his part, described the conference as “an opportunity to start a new phase that will be a strategic service to our people in the most dangerous stages.”
The Hamas leader, who was speaking by video-link from the Lebanese capital Beirut, also urged the Palestinian people to “continuously work on the ground and at political levels to thwart the annexation project.”
Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu had time and again announced that he would begin cabinet-level discussions for annexing more areas in the West Bank on July 1, in accordance with US President Donald Trump’s “deal of the century.”
However, Netanyahu’s much-publicized land grab plan, without clarifications, failed to be launched on the set date amid widening differences within the Israeli ruling coalition and against the backdrop of massive international opposition to the highly-provocative attempt.
Crest-fallen Netanyahu had suggested on Tuesday that there would be a delay in his annexation plan after he failed to get the green light for the move both from his key coalition partner Benny Gantz, who has been refusing to endorse Netanyahu’s scheme, and the US.
The Israeli premier, who had publicly voiced full-throated support of Trump’s plan, also said that he would continue discussions with Washington over the scheme “in the coming days.”
Experts say there is evidence emerging that Netanyahu’s desired roadmap for annexing more Palestinian lands is at odds with the plan articulated by Trump.
Israel’s unilateral annexation moves have faced a near-unanimous opposition from the international community, including the European Union (EU).
Trump’s scheme, unveiled in January, largely gives in to Israel’s demands while creating a Palestinian state with limited control over its own security and borders, enshrining the occupied Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s “capital” and allowing the regime to annex settlements in the West Bank and the Jordan Valley.
According to the so-called peace plan, the future Palestinian state will consist of scattered lands linked together via bridges and tunnels.
On Wednesday, former head of Hamas’s political bureau, Khaled Misha’al, warned that the postponement of the Israeli annexation plan was only a Zio-American ruse, the Palestinian Information Center reported.
He said that the alleged rescheduling was in fact a misleading tactic not intended to reverse or change the annexation plan, but to pave the way for its implementation.
“We have a great people who have never broken down or surrendered and who have been fighting for long decades and have experience not found with other peoples of the world,” added Misha’al, during an interview hosted on Al Jazeera satellite channel.
“We have the Muslim nation that has not forgotten Palestine and its just cause, and we have an international arena that is fed up with the Israeli occupation’s insolence,” he said.
The Hamas official also voiced his belief that the Palestinian people and the Arab and Islamic nations were capable of facing the annexation plan pursued by the occupying regime.